Chickens flew the coop- Help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Tracydr, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens have all gone to roosting in the lemon tree. For those not familiar with citrus, lemons are very, very thorny. My lemon is fairly bushy and they're up about 15 feet, at least. High enough that I can't really see most of them with my flashlight.
    I think it all started because I've had a rash of feral cats recently getting in the coop at dusk. Haven't lost anyone but it's stirred them up. The four Banties have slept in the trees from the beginning, but, about a month ago, the two leghorns started. Then, one or two other, a couple at a time, until I only have 6-7 of the 20 sleeping in the coop. The coop is airy and has plenty of roosting space. I don't think that is the problem. I'm doing my best to scare the cats away and close the coop up at dusk, except the two nights I'm away at class until two hours after dark, one of those nights my step-son will close up. So, only one night will the door be open for a couple of hours.
    Any suggestions to get them in the coop? I tried clipping wings on a couple of them but they still managed to hop up on the 6 foot block wall and hop branches up from there.
    Catching them before dark can even be a challenge. I feed in the coop but they range in my small garden. I rarely see more then one or two in the coop at a time.
    I've considered feeding some treats in the coop this evening and trying that. Hoping I can get as many lured in as possible. This is my only idea.
    I'm open to any and all ideas right now.
    Also, is there a way to clip wings so that they can't hop up five to six feet? I need to fence them into a smaller area while I plant winter grass and I have no way to cover my pen because of the trees.
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Sounds like you will have to catch them at night and put them in the coop and lock them up there for a few nights. I had to do the same thing. I had about 10 of them that started sleeping in the tall chicken trees that we have. I had to get a ladder with a 10 foot pole, gently knock them out of the tree (none were injured or hurt), pick them up put them in the chicken coop and keep them there for a few days.

    If there is a special time that they start heading toward that tree, you can be there and try to catch them with a net. You also have a great idea to lure them in with treats. Can you move their food and water and treats to that location and close it up and catch them when they are in?
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Entice them into the coop with scratch/BOSS and lock them up for a few days till they re-imprint on the coop as THE place to sleep.
  4. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Does your coop have a run?

    Personally, if they were my birds here is what I would do: Pull their feed in the mid afternoon - or just before noon. Then about an hour, hour and a half, before dusk - go out with feed and call all the chickens to eat.

    Lock them in their coop and run. I would be sure and leave them locked in the run for a couple days - for me the magic number seems to be 4 days for most of my birds when changing coops. After 4 days confined to the coop, they realize this is "home".
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Luring them with a treat before it's time to go to roost is a great idea. That's what we do if we need to lock the chickens in the run for some reason, while they're out free ranging.
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Any updates?

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